After two weeks of watching rival Dominick Cruz’s TUF 15 team dominate, fan-favorite Urijah Faber finally got the break he’d be waiting for on last night’s episode when his top pick – Al Iaquinta – beat Myles Jury albeit just barely on the judges’ scorecards. Cruz selected the Iaquinta-Jury fight on the previous episode in hopes of dealing Team Faber a crippling blow by knocking out his top two selections in consecutive weeks.
Iaquinta and Jury went back-and-forth for the first ten minutes of action in an evenly matched affair. When ringside officials determined the rounds had been split a “sudden victory” period was called upon, allowing the two lightweights to go at it for another five minutes. While neither landed much in the final frame, Iaquinta’s aggression was enough to earn the nod from two judges, resulting in a Split Decision win.
With control back in Faber’s corner, “The California Kid” opted to select Michael Chiesa from his squad to face Jeremy Larsen from Team Cruz based on Larsen’s supposed difficulty with good wrestlers (which Chiesa is).
Outside of fight-related matters, Mike Rio was injured in training after awkwardly twisting his knee during a sparring session but appeared able to continue on in the contest for the time being. Additionally, Faber brought in a “life coach” to help both teams with the psychological aspect of fighting with the entire group appreciating the gesture minus Chris Tickle who felt it was pointless.
TUF 15 Season Summary:
Cruz’s Team: Justin Lawrence, Sam Sicilia, Myles Jury, Mike Rio, James Vick, Vinc Pichel, Chris Tickle, Jeremy Larsen
Faber’s Team: Al Iaquinta, Cristiano Marcello, Daron Cruickshank, Joe Proctor, Michael Chiesa, John Cofer, Andy Ogle, Chris Saunders
Team Records: Cruz 2, Faber 1
Advancing to Semifinal: James Vick, Justin Lawrence, Al Iaquinta
Eliminated: Daron Cruickshank, Cristiano Marcello, Myles Jury
Next Week’s Fight: Michael Chiesa vs. Jeremy Larsen
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC